Restaurant is located at the east side of Beijing Jing Yuan Arts Center. The owner wants to turn the first and second floors of the office building into a “free Café” where customers can stay and communicate freely. Because the first Ban Shan café was located at the foot of Fragrant Hills of Beijing, this café downtown could smell the “hills” as well.
Budget for such a café was limited, so while building this space it could was only be used common materials. What is very interesting is that the storey height for the first floor is 3.8 meters, which is too high for one floor, and not high enough for two floors, so the design of this space was full of challenge. A crazy idea came to the mind of architects so they dug down one meter at the center of the space, and then built a mezzanine over it. When customers walk into the dug “basement” through the mezzanine, an experience of “walking into the mountain” is presented. The floor height of the mezzanine is low, so inside customers could only sit or lie. It is a good place for chatting with a couple of friends.
A log cabin is built under the stairs leading to the second floor and the stairs are hidden behind the log cabin. The second floor is divided into several small spaces, using shelves of green plants. The natural shapes of the plants are changed as time passes by. This is the freely-organized, flexible space that is built, which is able to grow as it was come alive. Every brick and wood here are signs of the workers efforts, and they are having a kind of dialogue with people within this space.
Sit under the sunlight and with winds breezing, it must be the most cozy and comfortable experience!